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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 10-16-2016, 05:36 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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very interested in learning to make knives in Ohio

I have recently got the bug to learn to make my own knives.
I have zero experience with anything related to knife making other than owning a few knives and owning a paper wheel and grinder to sharpen them. I am curious if there is anyone in ohio that has a forge and would be willing to show me around and show me the basics of knife making.
I plan to make my own forge and buy the necessary basic tools. I would like to see the process first hand so I know exactly what I am getting into and make sure it is something I would be able to do in my garage. I am located in Columbus, Ohio.
thanks
Kyle
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2016, 05:58 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Wished you lived near me as I have to live in an apt. and could help you quite a bit and could use a forge. All Right, any knifemakers near Columbus OH? There are some good knife forging videos on youtube if you want to see some of how it's done.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2016, 06:01 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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Dang, you just missed quad state. that would have been a good place to start. Drop in to Rays chat for newbs tonight.
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2016, 06:21 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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Thanks! I plan to try and make the chat tonight.
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2016, 10:33 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Red face Kyle I'm sure you got an earfull tonight.

There was mention of buying everything from a 1x30 (me) to 2x42 (me and Gator) and to 2x72 in the way of belt sanders. How much do you want to get into it? Just make a few knives a year like I do or many, like others? I made my first knife because I couldn't buy a decent filleting knife for cleaning fish on my dad's boat for charters(up to 100+ fish a day). I was told to take a worn out file and grind a shiny spot on it and put it in the oven to temper it down to about RC 60 hardness when it turned a cardboard color. I did that and ground them down, being careful not to get them hot, into the shape I wanted. Nothing pretty I assure you. I duct taped popsicle sticks onto them for handles and had some long lasting knives I didn't have to sharpen every 3 or 4 fish. That was in the 70s.

I returned to knifemaking in the mid 90s and used a 3x21 belt sander clamped to a table to grind my knives and finished by hand. Place where I worked had a heat treat oven so I made some nice knives just as a hobby without a huge investment. Used a hand drill for the holes.(Don't Recommend) Many here will be happy to give you advice. A forge is nice, but check and see if one of your local community colleges has a blacksmith course. A good place to start.

As some of the guys in Rays Chatroom said starting with a kit knife would be a good place to start. There is Jantz Supply and KnifeKits a sponsor here, Texas Knifemakers Supply and many others. TKS will actually check the hardness of the kit knife you buy from them if you request it. I know Alex their heat treat (HT) guy and he is who I use to HT my air quench steels and they offer cryogenic HT with liquid nitrogen. I have had no problems with their HT of my knives, just follow directions of what they tell you. Unfortunately they do not do oil quenched steels. But they do have some nice kit knives, if it's important to you Jantz supply has some nice 1095 knives made in America. Sadly, too many kit knives are made in China or worse yet Pakistan.

Just remember you can do a lot of this with simple files and sandpaper taped to small pieces of wood. I use 1 1/2 by 10 inches with the sandpaper taped at the ends.

So you can buy the minimum files and sandpaper, I would suggest getting an angle grinder (variable speed) if you want to cut out your blanks as the cheapest way. I use an angle grinder to start my bevels on my knives as I'm poor and live in an Apt.LOL Finish them with a 1x42 belt sander and by hand. Other knifemakers here could do what I do 3x as fast. It's just an expensive hobby that isn't so expensive for me. I'm focusing on sheaths at the moment, leather work is it's own discipline. So I guess I've confused you enough for now.
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2016, 08:24 AM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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I am not sure how much I truly want to get into the hobby until I give it a try. My concern is that while I am very mechanical and scientific, I tend to lack in the art department. I want to find out if I am capable of having enough skill to actually make straight lines and curved lines in the proper places when needed. If I can do this then I imagine I will get pretty involved in knife making.

I would like to do it as cheap as possible. I do have a drill press, a Dremel tool to get started with. I have a harbor freight close by as well. I plan on taking a blacksmithing class locally but they are a little under $200 and I would almost rather buy a belt sander with that money as it is something I could use for other projects as well.
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2016, 08:39 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Blacksmithing and knife making are distantly related but that's about it. Some blacksmiths are knife makers but most are not. Knife makers who choose to forge their knives do not have the same skill set as blacksmiths and cannot automatically do what blacksmiths do.

Likewise, machinist are not automatically knife makers. The disciplines have areas where they intersect but one does not automatically give you the skills of the other.

So, save your money on those classes unless you want to be a blacksmith....


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  #8  
Old 10-17-2016, 09:31 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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my advice is to try the stock removal method first that's how I did it I got maybe 2 years making knife only made 2 knives by forging and both were in the very beginning then once I started stock removal never went back to forging YET. 2 ways of making a knife (well a lot more but for this conversation lets keep it at 2) what your talking about is heating it in a forge and hammering it into shape called forging....now the stock removal method doesn't require a forge you don't hammer it into shape you grind it now you can do that on a very expesive grinder or a cheap little grinder to start and see if you like it or even just go buy a couple good metal files and use the files to grind a bevel in. IF you forge a knife you are still going to have to grind it to clean it up anyway so I think learning that skill is key and NOT forging is one step you wont need and therefore less tools equipment and money you have to invest. if you paitient try the files (I am not that patient never was) if not find a cheap lil belt grinder doesn't have to be crazy expensive to start....go do a search ok " knife making by stock removal" you will find a lot of info
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2016, 09:53 AM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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As far as the class I was considering goes, it is a knife making class that they have locally. It is $125 plus materials.

I was looking at this sander at harbor freight to get started.
http://m.harborfreight.com/1-in-x-30...not%20provided

What equipment would I need to heat treat and or temper the blade?
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2016, 11:38 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Lots of guys have tried to start with a 1x30, including me, and a few manage with it for a while but, honestly, they are just too puny for the work. Most of the sanders you'll find at HF or Sears are meant for wood. They will be somewhat useful for handles and lots of guys do use them for blades but they are very limited. I know you're going to buy some kind of sander - everyone does - but at least get one with as much horsepower as you can find. Pulling a belt through steel is not easy work, you need all the power you can find.

Files and sandpaper will get the job done and you can save your money for a 2x48 or better a 2x72 when you decide to stick with the hobby. As for heat treating, most build a small forge for that. It is simple to do and doesn't have to cost much...


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  #11  
Old 10-18-2016, 09:47 AM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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My previous reply didn't go through because there was a link in it. What size files are the best to get? I was looking at the Nicholson set at home depot. Do I want larger files or the micro files? Also is the harbor freight sander worth getting or should I stick to files?
What types of ball peen hammer do I need to do the handles?
The class I was looking at was at a local place called the foundry. It is a knife making class that is $125 plus materials.

I ordered a couple kits from knife kits.com. I ordered two different types of wood scales and steel pins which may have been a mistake as I think they are more likely to split the wood than something softer?
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2016, 10:30 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Generally, when using files to make your blades you'd want fairly large files. Steel pins probably aren't what you want. Instead of pins look at Loveless bolts...


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  #13  
Old 10-18-2016, 05:03 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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I went shopping a little tonight and got a DeWalt 4 1/2-6" angle grinder, a 12" 300mm Nicholson bastard file ( I thought a bastard file had a cross hatch pattern but this only has lines one way.)
I also plan to make a Gough jig for filing.
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  #14  
Old 10-18-2016, 05:05 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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I was also given a 1/3 horsepower 6" bench grinder.
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  #15  
Old 10-19-2016, 12:19 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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MAYBE ONE THING WE ALL FORGOT TO TELL YOU TO BUY AND THAT'S A BOOK ON KNIFEMAKING, THERE ARE MANY. I'LL LET RAY AND OTHERS TELL YOU WHICH ONES ARE THE BEST. Pardon my all caps I didn't notice until I looked up and saw them.
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